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Die junge Hweilan verliert an einem Tag alles: ihre Familie, ihr Zuhause, scheinbar ihre Zukunft. Überraschend wird sie gerettet, sieht sich jedoch bald von Dämonen verfolgt. Auf der Flucht durch Faerun und die Ebene der Eldadrin, Feywild, lernt sie ihre Bestimmung kennen: Die Auserwählte des Halbgottes Nendawen zu sein, die Hand des Jägers...
Das erste Buch der Reihe ist hervorragend geschrieben, die Haupt- und Nebenfiguren sind allesamt keine der üblichen Klischees, sondern glaubhaft gezeichnet, ihre Motivationen sind jederzeit verständlich. Es gibt keine typischen "Guten" und "Bösen", sondern sehr viele Charaktere, die in Grauzonen agieren. Beeindruckend ist auch die Beschreibung der Eldadrin- das Buch vermittelt hervorragend, dass ihre Gedanken und Motivationen nicht aus menschlichen Gesichtspunkten nachvollziehbar sind. Die Sprache ist schnell und dynamisch, auf lange Floskulierungen wird verzichtet. Der Schreibstil mutet sehr modern an: Kämpfe (von denen es einige gibt), sind temporeich, aber detailliert beschrieben, die Schauplätze der Handlung sind teils mit groben Worten umschrieben, dann wieder detailliert, als ob in einem Film zwischen Totale und Nahaufnahme gewechselt wird.
Eines der seltenen Bücher, in dem ein guter Schreibstil und eine frische, innovative Geschichte vereint sind. Ich habe das Buch in 2 Tagen gelesen und freue mich schon auf die Fortsetzung!
Es hat mir großen Spaß bereitet dieses Buch zu lesen. Empfehlenswert in einer dicken Decke eingewickelt da soviel Eis und Schnee vorkommen daß es einem vom Lesen schon kalt wird (= Narfell und in den Feywilds). Die Hauptakteurin Hweilan (Tochter des Kommandanten von Highwatch) wird gut beschrieben, ihre zwei Helfer (Lendri, Menduarthis) bleiben jedoch mysteriös. Was sie sind (Eladrin "among other things"; Vil Adanrath), als was sie geboren wurden und wie sie zu dem wurden was sie heute sind (Wieso ist einer kalt wie Eis? Der zweite scheint sich in einen Lykantropen verwandeln zu können obwohl er das nie vollständig passiert) wird nicht erläutert. Daß der Autor diese Punkte in einem der Folgewerke anspricht ist jedoch mit Spannung zu erwarten.
Weiters findet man in diesem Buch nicht die typischen Gottheiten die man aus anderen Forgotten Realms Büchern gewohnt ist. Hier geht es um "alte" Götter. Beispielsweise "Nendawen", Meister der Jagd. Jagun Ghen, sein Gegner. Seine Schamanen, die Menschen in grausamen Ritualen töten und mit bösen Seelen bestücken. Diese müssen jagen und töten.
Kann Jagun Ghen aufgehalten werden? Auf jeden Fall. Lassen wir uns überraschen wie.
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Great start to a new trilogy10. Dezember 2009
Robert "Dimndbangr" Hicks
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The Fall of Highwatch (TFoH) is the first book in a new trilogy by Mark Sehestedt called Chosen of Nendawen. The second book Hand of the Hunter is scheduled to be released in December 2010 and the Third, Cry of the Ghost Wolf, in December 2011. Those who have read Frostfell in the Wizards series will be able to read more about one of the characters from there as well as some background that bleeds over into this one.
TFoH is fast paced right from the start. It takes a few pages to get the reader set up with a short background of the people and the land, introduces some characters, and then the mayhem begins and doesn't let up until the middle. With such a frantic pace, there may be some readers who may feel that they miss a point or key information in all the action. I, however, did not feel that way. The novel has some good transitions and flows nicely.
The plot has many elements and so the main plot really doesn't come in until towards the end. It begins with a character being given a quest to find Nendawen's chosen since he didn't bring a sacrifice when he entered his lands. Then there is the battle that brings down the ruling family and all loyal to Highwatch except one, Hweilan, who escapes and later becomes hunted. Also during this there is Gulric who has allied himself with a spellscarred person, Argalath, who is to help Gulric revive his dead wife. Other characters appear when Hweilan is taken to the Feywild and meets the queen there to decide her fate. She also meets Menduarthis who is more than he seems. There are many sub plots such as the reason Hweilan is wanted, the deeper ambitions of Argalath, and others that may lead to spoilers.
Of all the characters, I liked Menduarthis the most. I was able to connect with most of the characters. The one that I had the hardest time connecting with was Lendri. His character seemed bland and just didn't add much flavor to his scenes. All the rest were easier, even the villains were easy to connect with. As for character development, there really wasn't much in this book. I have a feeling that now with the story and characters set up, there will be much more development in the subsequent books.
A couple criticisms:
1. Like I mentioned previously, I couldn't connect with Lendri's character. It has been a long time since I read Frostfell so I may be missing something with this character, but he just didn't seem to make me care about him that much.
2. I have read previous reviews claiming that Mr. Sehestedt did not give good descriptions of the cold wastes in Frostfell and I believe he listened because even though the descriptions are a lot better in this one, later after all the fighting and chasing he seemed to describe everything and the story really slowed down there. I felt like I was being told every minute detail. This was good for getting the author's vision across, but after the speed of the first half of the book, this sudden "Slow School Zone" pace felt too slow.
3. For those who do not like cliffhanger endings, well, this one has it. This is one of the reasons that I usually wait for a full trilogy to get published before I read it.
1. Here's the caveat to the description criticism. During the chase scenes and the rest of the book, the depictions were not overbearing and the author was able to get his vision across as well as let the reader fill in any gaps to make the story their own. The reader could easily envision the landscape and feel the environment around.
2. I have to say, it has been quite a while since there was a good amount of gore in a FR novel. There are some scenes in here that may turn someone's stomach. Mr. Sehestedt towed the PG-13 line nicely in this regard.
3. I enjoyed the fast pace of the book. I really had a hard time putting this one down and I wouldn't have if it wasn't for work and needing sleep. It has been a long time since I read something that was so engaging.
4. This is the first book in the newer 4E realms were the only mention of anyone being spellscarred is the villain. I am sure there may be more scarred people later in the trilogy, but if Mr. Sehestedt keeps it this way, I will be more than happy. It is not that I don't like protagonists that are spellscarred, but I like the fact that this would be something different having only the antagonist being spellscarred.
Reflecting back, this is one of those trilogies I wish I didn't have to wait a year between books. Aside from the few minor issues, I enjoyed this book immensely. I really am looking forward to reading the next one. 12 months seems so far away. If you still enjoy the 4E realms novels, you should really enjoy this one. Even those who don't should give it a try. If you want fast paced action in fantasy, then this one is for you. Even those new to the fantasy genre could enjoy this. This is one of those books I would prefer to give 4 ½ stars, but I can't see bringing it down to 4 so I will give it 5. Happy reading.
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The Fall of Highwatch4. Januar 2010
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Forgotten Realms: Chosen of Nendawen #1: The Fall of Highwatch, by Mark Sehestedt
"The Fall of Highwatch" is a Forgotten Realms novel set in the 4th Edition D&D world, but don't let that stop you from reading this excellent book. Let me start by saying that I don't play D&D, but I have read many FR novels and rather enjoy them.
The fortress of Highwatch sits in the Giantspire Mountains, in the frozen regions of Narfell. The citadel has stood strong for over a century, as the landscape around it has made it virtually impregnable. Indeed, Highwatch only falls because of inside treachery, when the captain of the guard betrays everyone for a second chance with his deceased love.
Hweilan, the granddaughter of the Warden of Highwatch, survives the massacre, and is thrust into a wild journey through the wilds of Narfell and even a jaunt into the Feywild. On the run from a dangerous vampire-like demon, she meets Lendri, an elf who claims to be bloodkin and oathsworn, and Menduarthis, a strange male who takes her into the Feywild because he's "bored." Even after losing everything she knows - her family, her home - Hweilan is still a strong character, and more stubborn than a donkey.
Sehestedt sets up an intriguing plot, and I can't wait for the other two books of this trilogy; I'm frustrated that I'll have to wait a year for the next installment - especially since the book ends on quite a cliffhanger. Just enough is revealed that you want to know more, and I kept reading long after I meant to go to sleep. The action is very very fast, and will at times leave you wondering just how Hweilan could have the energy to continue running and fighting after enduring so much, but adrenaline and the will to live make sense. Sometimes things were too predictable, but not often enough to really detract.
Lastly, I have to say I absolutely love the cover design of this book - it's very different, as it's horizontal art instead of vertical. The theme is continued inside, and looks very nice overall. It's eye-catching.
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The Fall of Highwatch by Mark Sehestedt4. Februar 2010
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The Fall of Highwatch by Mark Sehestedt- This is the first book in the Chosen of Nendawen trilogy, the second being Hand of the Hunter (due out in December 2010) and the third being Cry of the Ghost Wolf (due out December of 2011), all set in the Forgotten Realm universe. Mark Sehestedt is the author of two other Forgotten Realms novels and a Eberron novel. The Eberron novel is Tales of the Last War and the two Forgotten Realms novels are Frostfell, part of The Wizards series of stand-alone novels, and Sentinelspire, part of The Citadels series of stand-alone novels. A character from Frostfell reappear in this novel.
The story is about a young woman named Hwielan, the granddaughter of the High Warden of the fortress Highwatch. Her grandmother is making Hwielan leave for a year to a city in Damara to, hopefully, meet a young noble to marry. Hwielan doesn't like this idea and asks her mother her opinion, which, surprising to her, her mother agrees with her grandmothers thought. Before she can go, while at her father's grave, Highwatch gets attacked from the inside and everything she knows is lost. While being pursued, Hwielan finds her friend and teacher, Scith, who tries to figure out what happen to Highwatch, but never returns. Hwielan decides to go after him and finds him near death and tortured, and she gets caught, but it rescued by an elf named Lendri (from Frostfell) he tells her to follow him to safety. But things don't go as planned. Between being relentlessly chased by an unholy being in the form of her uncle, being captured by eladrin elf named Menduarthis and taken to the Feywild, and finding out that she is something much more, it looks like Hwielan doesn't have much chance to escape.
Negatives: 1) Descriptions. Before I really say anything, they were just wonderful. It was amazing how much Mark Sehestedt described the landscape and everything in between. You really can picture everything described. However, there is a slight, slight problem. Every once and a while, the descriptions slow down the story. For example, when Hwielan is going to met the Queen while she is in the Feywild, the palace's description got in the way more than it should. It just became a little distracting. 2) Cliffhanger. It just had to stop at a cliffhanger. And I have to wait a good ten months till I can read the next one. It just isn't fair. I really never wanted the story to end.
Positives: 1) Characters. The characters were just plain wonderful. They really made the story as a whole interesting and engaging. Hwielan was a wonderful main character. She brought a lot of helplessness and confusion to the story. Basically, she just was a normal girl thrown into something very abnormal and it really shows with everything she does. It's amazing how she adapts and grows while the story progresses. Menduarthis was great for many reasons. His, at times, cold attitude towards Hwielan and Lendri makes him out to be more of a villain than one of the heroes. But as the story moves forward, he becomes more and more likable and funny. In fact, he is probably one of my favorite characters within the story. Why is that? Because (Small Spoiler!) the reason for him helping Hwielan escape is because he is really bored in the Feywild. How great is that? No motivation except of his boredom, it's just wonderful. Also, the side characters and minor characters all add something interesting and really help the story along. 2) Secondary Plot. I love how every time the secondary plot is brought up, the chapter only lasts a few pages, then after those few pages, we go back to the main storyline. It makes the story flow better than having to stop the wonderful pacing for some pointless, or relatively pointless, side plot that the reader really couldn't careless for. Now, the secondary plot of the person who took over Highwatch and his reasons is really good, but I was really happy to see it as only a few pages after a few chapters with the main storyline. It just didn't bore you with things that weren't really happening in the main story. Instead it seemed to be more like a subtle reminder of the what is still going on in Highwatch. 3) Story. The story itself was just wonderful. It may have been a little simple, but it still was interesting and engaging. Basically, the story is having Hwielan running away from everything and it really does work out for the best. It makes the story fly by, because these scenes are fast paced and exciting. Even the slower parts of the story are interesting. They have an underlying sense of excitement when things get slow. For example, while being led through the Queen's palace it's a slower scene, but it still builds up what is going to happen when Hwielan meets the Queen. It just was plain exciting.
Side Notes: 1) Gruesome. There were a lot of scenes were things got a little more than gory. It was great however. I squirmed a little more than I should when Hwielan stabbed one of her chasers in the eye. And reading about what this unholy creature looked like after a while was really shiver worthy. 2) Lendri. It was nice to see him return. But his whole back story seems like it needs to be told more. 3) Cover Art. I really like it. First off, it's actually in the story, when Hwielan meets Menduarthis. Secondly, the way it's horizontal and not vertical really catches your eye. Finally, the mountains are a little more than plain, they are beautiful in there own way.
Overall: 5/5 Final Thoughts: The problems I have aren't really huge issues. They don't really take away from the positives at all. The story is wonderful, the characters are vivid and very interesting, and it's just plain exciting. I haven't read a story this good for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great the story was.
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Great New Start for Forgotten Realms27. Dezember 2010
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Having read other 4th edition D&D novels and not been impressed, this one is truly the best! Great plot, strong characters, interesting & very descriptive writing. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS NOVEL! I will not give away the story just read above info, but this is a good read, and doesnt seem to have a forced influence from WOC, where a monster apppears for no reason and didnt make sense( as many people have discribed in previous novels recently)
A shot in the dark hits gold19. März 2011
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I was very impressed with the author's creative style. His characters had dimension and the story was interesting. The 2nd half of the book blew me away with the setting.
I picked this book up with a hope that it would be entertaining. It exceeded expectations and more. The characters lived and died, unlike other stories where characters become immortal because the author needs them to progress the story.
This leads me to a complaint; as great as this book is the follow-up story was only a 2.5 star story. So if you purchase this then be prepared for a letdown in the next book, "Hand of the Hunter". I don't know what happened but the author dropped the story arc in the next book. I went and read another of this author's work after reading this one and I am befuddled as to what happened to the lack of effort that is "Hand of the Hunter".
I'm updating this review having just finished the 3rd book of the trilogy, "Cry of the Ghost Wolf". The title seems to have no relation to the events in the book. The first 250-280 pages cover THREE DAYS! It's an extremely slow pace. This is from someone who has read "The Brothers Karamazov". I am at a loss as to what the hell happened to the story.
As a stand alone book "The Fall of Highwatch" is a 5 star. "Hand of the Hunter" is a 2.5 star. "Cry of the Ghost Wolf" is a 0-1.0 star!